…their offense is terrorist related
The apex Nigeria bank has written to the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to uphold the order given to freeze the account of certain #EndSARS campaigners.
The requests to uphold the freeze order was contained in a counter-affidavit sent to the court in response to the plead sent by one Gatefield Nigeria Limited to the same court.
Nigeria News World gathered that Gatefield sponsored freelance journalists to cover the said campaign, which was a reason for being one of the victims whose account were froze.
The court had ordered an ex parte order to freeze the said company’s account alongside 19 others who were suspected of sponsoring the #EndSARS protests.
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In responding to the development, Gatefield had written to the Abuja High Court to revert the order which it tagged “illegal’, claiming that the account had been frozen even before the court order arrived.
Furthermore, in a counter-affidavit filed by the legal representation of the CBN, A.J. Apera, the court denied the allegation and clarified that the bank obtained the order on the 4th of November, 2020.
However, the counter-affidavit from the bank never stated it froze #EndSARS campaigners accounts, but terrorists accounts.
The apex bank disclosed that those accounts were freeze for offense related to terrorism and sponsoring of terrorists, and that the victims are under investigation.
The affidavit read in part, “That the bank accounts frozen by this honourable court in this case are suspected to be involved in transactions bordering on terrorism financing and that the said accounts are being investigated by the Central Bank of Nigeria in that regard.”
In this regard, CBN maintained the stand that there’s no need to inform the victims before taking such decision as they are being probe for financing terrorists.
It added, “That the allegations involving the defendants’ accounts being investigated by the Central Bank of Nigeria border on terrorism and that there was an extreme urgency warranting the grant of the ex parte order in this suit.”
The apex court said it had the legal right to investigate the defendants because it had to do with financing and funds being stored in financial institutions.
The CBN said it would forward its findings to the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit for further investigation.
The affidavit further read, “That it will be in the best interest of justice that the instant application be dismissed as the investigations being conducted by the Central Bank of Nigeria in respect of the defendants’ frozen accounts have not been concluded.”
Meanwhile, the development by the Federal Government of Nigeria has been openly criticized, especially by the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
Meanwhile, NNW gathered that the 40 persons whose a count were freeze have not been invited for investigation whatsoever.